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Could Gandalf touch the One Ring?

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Could Gandalf touch the One Ring? Empty Could Gandalf touch the One Ring?

Post by Paul Sun 21 May 2023, 7:09 pm

Could Gandalf touch the One Ring? UD7c69B


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This is a lore account on how Gandalf, despite misconceptions, at least twice picked up the Master Ring.
Could Gandalf touch the One Ring? GqUJe3m


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In the 2001 adaptation does Gandalf the Grey never touch the One, and handles it only using tongs. This and Gandalf's rejection when Frodo offers him the Master Ring have helped spread an impression that Gandalf, or any of the powerful Wise, could not touch the One or they would be instantly corrupted.
Could Gandalf touch the One Ring? B8P6Vm4


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The Grey Wizard sensing Sauron via an 'Eye-flash' and never touching the One are apperent choices in the film to heighten the tension and within tight time limits make the audience aware of the risks of the inanimate object. Tolkien however never wrote that the Wise might not touch the One or they would fall to it instantly; he on the opposit had Gandalf pick it up, although never for more than a moment.

Could Gandalf touch the One Ring? WcqmSpO


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In the book was Bilbo Baggins convinced to leave his ring behind, and he put it in an envelope. Gandalf did not want it but said it should be put on the mantlepiece. Doing so Bilbo dropped the packet but before "he could pick it up, the wizard stooped and seized it and set it in its place" (FotR; I; I). No Eye-flash involved; for the record is the concept that Sauron would instantly notice and find someone putting on his Ring was invented for the films [or he would had caught Gollum or Bilbo long ago]. After many years had Gandalf finally found out how to test the artifact. Returning he asked its new owner, Frodo, to give him the Ring for a moment, holding it for the first time (FotR; I; II, onwards):


Could Gandalf touch the One Ring? EWsvLbu


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"Frodo took it from his breeches-pocket, where it was clasped to a chain that hung from his belt. He unfastened it and handed it slowly to the wizard. It felt suddenly very heavy, as if either it or Frodo himself was in some way reluctant for Gandalf to touch it. Gandalf held it up. It looked to be made of pure and solid gold. ‘Can you see any markings on it?’ he asked." Note: some misread this as Gandalf holding the chain, but at scrutiny "it" at all times refers to the Ring, and not the chain that "it" was unfastened from (art by Donato Giancola).


Could Gandalf touch the One Ring? L7GPFZj


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Frodo did not see any signs on the gold and Gandalf threw the One into the fire to test it: "For a moment the wizard stood looking at the fire; then he stooped and removed the ring to the hearth with the tongs, and at once picked it up. Frodo gasped. `It is quite cool,’ said Gandalf. `Take it!’ Frodo received it on his shrinking palm: it seemed to have become thicker and heavier than ever." Twice now the Wizard had picked up the One and held it; the second time is indeed how he with confidence could tell that it is quite cool (art by Andrea Piparo).


Could Gandalf touch the One Ring? MsJt092


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Then letters appeared and it was made certain that the jewlery was the Master Ring. Frodo soon offered it to the Wizard, who like in the film rejected the offer with a passion (art by Saul Zaentz): "`No!’ cried Gandalf, springing to his feet. `With that power I should have power too great and terrible. And over me the Ring would gain a power still greater and more deadly.’ His eyes flashed and his face was lit as by a fire within. `Do not tempt me! For I do not wish to become like the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good. Do not tempt me! I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe, unused. The wish to wield it would be too great, for my strength. I shall have such need of it. Great perils lie before me.’"


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Could Gandalf touch the One Ring? X3gxO1L
It is clear that while Gandalf could touch the Ring, he was afraid of having custody of it. Elrond likewise said "The very desire of it corrupts the heart.... I fear to take the Ring to hide it" (FotR; II; II). Still like Gandalf before him may Elrond touched the One already. Frodo came to Rivendell unconscious and wounded. Once healed he "found that while he slept the Ring had been hung about his neck on a new chain, light but strong" (FotR; II; I, art by Donato Giancola). While others could have done so, Gandalf included, it is plausible that it was done by the host himself. Elrond healed the hobbit and at any rate most likley provided the new chain that the Ring was put on.
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